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What is data?

Data connections let you connect the variables in your model to data sources. In most cases, this is used to pull in historical (aka "actual") data.
When a variable is linked to data, it will take its value from the data if data exists, and will fall back to its formula if data doesn't exist (usually only beyond the Last actual date). You can use this to perform forecasts based on historicals.
In the example above, we have data up until May'23 (shown by the data icon in each month, and the connected data item Software expenses displayed in the formula bar), and from Jun'23 onwards, Causal falls back to the formula (Budget allocation * (1 + Inflation)).